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Newborn to hold special election

NEWBORN - The town of Newborn will hold a special election to fill the vacant Post 2 on the Town Council.

The election will take place on July 31, the same day as the General Primary.

No one qualified for Post 2, which was to be filled during the November Municipal Election. The council agreed to amend the charter to state that it may appoint a new member for the entire term if the vacancy is caused by failure to elect. However, following advertisement of the charter amendment and public hearings where it met with no opposition, the council learned there is already a state law that mandates a special election when there is a failure to elect.

The council agreed at its March 5 meeting to move forward with the special election.

"There was no public opposition, but we want to make sure we do everything exactly by the book," said Town Attorney Joe Reitman.

Qualifying is set for May 23 through May 25. Town Clerk Lisa Rowe estimated that the Special Election will cost the town about $6,000.

"My hope and expectation would be that one person would qualify and stand elected. That would be the most cost effective," for the town Reitman said.

John Donaldson was elected to Post 2 in November 2009 and held the seat from January 2010 until June 2011. After Donaldson resigned because he was moving outside town limits, Dennis Fincher was appointed to fill the unexpired term. Fincher opted not to run for re-election and there were no other qualifiers.

Fincher has continued to attend some of the council meetings and represent Post 2 and is able to legally do so until a successor is sworn in, Reitman said. If no one should qualify for the special election, Reitman said he believes the post would be left vacant through the remainder of the term.